Ray hotel project abandoned

The developer for a long-planned hotel in Ray has determined it is not feasible to move forward, a consultant for the group said.

“Economic conditions in the Ray market do not allow for the group to proceed forward with the development of the hotel,” wrote John Seibert, consultant to the Sky Watch Group, in an email to the Williams County zoning board.

Seibert indicated willingness to move forward with a project at some point and said the group “is committed to maintaining the property.”

But a Jan. 1 deadline for the payment of escrow funds is past, as is the deadline for development of a new agreement with the city of Ray.

Work on a 100-room hotel and retail space began in late 2014 but stopped following excavation for planned below-grade parking. The concrete foundation, about 10 feet below the U.S. 2 highway frontage, is all that has been completed.

-- Tioga Tribune

Watford to offer job training

After years of local workers traveling to Williston for various workforce training, Watford City has cultivated its own site.

TrainND will offer workforce and oilfield training classes in Watford City in an expansion from its regional office at Williston State College.

“I don’t want people leaving here to do things,” said Gene Veeder, Watford City’s economic development coordinator. “They should be able to do them here.”

Watford City companies send about 2,000 employees to Williston for training, said TrainND CEO Deanette Piesik.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for Watford City and McKenzie County,” Piesik said.

One weekend of classes took place in January at the Rough Rider Center, which also houses the University of Mary satellite campus.

-- McKenzie County Farmer, Watford City

PVC pipe presents construction problem

The Crosby City Council has agreed to pay about $55,000 for work done by a Valley City contractor on a new pump house at Crosby’s clear well, though they’re worried the city could face long-term problems with the building.

After talking with the contractor, council members came away convinced their beef is mostly with the city’s engineering firm.

As soon as the building was constructed last fall and the clear well was filled, what councilman Brian Lund describes as “extreme pressure” cracked a wall in the building and burst PVC pipe.

The council had refused to pay the contractor’s bill for months, due to concern it was the city’s only leverage if problems continue.

The owner of the contracting firm said he told the engineer at the start that PVC pipe was not appropriate for the job.

-- The Journal, Crosby

Tioga annex talks nearing end

The Tioga City Commission agreed to meet one more time with a mediator and representatives of Hess to move toward a conclusion on annexation plans for Hess facilities on the outskirts of town.

Todd Thompson, one of two Tioga commissioners involved in the negotiations, said he isn’t in a mood to concede any more.

“I thought at our last meeting we had decided what we were willing to do,” he said. “If we continue to meet with them, are they going to expect us to continue to negotiate with them?”

Thompson expressed frustration at the amount of time the process is taking, as well as the cost.

-- Tioga Tribune

Beauty shop open in Kenmare

Red Carpet Beauty and Body has opened in Kenmare under the ownership of Emmy and Jeremy Handeland.

When the Handelands moved to Kenmare from Williston in 2015, Emmy said they wanted to open some sort of business.

After doing a lot of research, they came up with Red Carpet to offer a wide array of health and beauty items.

Red Carpet features two tanning beds, plus a full line of skin-care and makeup products.

“Tanning season is January to May,” Handeland said. “That’s why we pushed to get open.”

Future plans include hydromassage, spray tanning and possibly an infrared sauna.

-- Kenmare News

New Town OKs golf upgrade

New Town’s city council signed a memorandum of understanding with the North Dakota Department of Transportation regarding three holes at Edgewater Country Club that will be replaced to accommodate the state Highway 23 bypass.

The first, fifth and sixth holes will be replaced north of the current layout, and a tunnel under the bypass will connect both halves of the course.

A new clubhouse overlooking Lake Sakakawea will include a pro shop, dining room, conference room and outdoor deck.

The preferred bypass route would go straight through the middle of the current golf course. Under federal law, the NDDOT must replace, at its own expense, any facilities that are destroyed to make way for a new highway.

Construction could begin this summer for completion in the spring of 2019.

-- New Town News